Pacing for the American Headache Society Symposium

The American Headache Society’s annual symposium is in Scottsdale later this week and I’ll be attending for the first time. Or to be accurate, I’m planning to attend the symposium as long as I’m not knocked out by migraine attacks. There’s a world of difference between attending and planning to attend. A difference you’d think I’d fully grasp after all these years with debilitating chronic migraine. Nope.

I imagined myself waking up early and attending the meeting sessions all day Friday and Saturday. Never mind that sessions begin at 8 a.m., two hours before I usually wake up. Never mind that feeling well enough to be out of the house for three hours on any given day is cause for celebration; doing so two days in a row is nearly unheard of. Never mind that I rarely shower before going out because it depletes my energy (this is a little tricky considering that my almost-nightly migraine attacks include night sweats — I can cope if I’m going somewhere anonymously, but am sensitive about it when I’m around people I know or want to make a good impression).

Although the idealized schedule of events rarely comes to fruition, I don’t usually remember that until I’m over committed. This time I was clever enough to see it a week before the event takes place. I’ve gone through the symposium schedule and made a list of sessions I most want to attend and have narrowed it down to a couple hours each day plus Thursday set-up for the TheraSpecs exhibit and dinner with folks. Ideally, I’ll take over the booth for short stints Friday and Saturday so Hart can catch his breath.

I have no idea how much of the conference I’ll be able to attend or if I’ll be of much help to Hart. Still, I’m patting myself on the back for recognizing my limitations (though I’m by no means happy about them) and creating a realistic plan. Starting off with reasonable expectations is far more promising than my usual approach of hitting the ground running, then crashing and knocking myself out for the rest of the weekend. If I can’t make it to all that I have planned, I won’t be blaming myself for overexerting and making myself sick.

Wish me luck. I hope to gather lots of good information to share with you. And I’m super excited to finally meet Teri Robert, Ellen Schnakenberg and Diana Lee in person!

Coping, Friends & Family

Overscheduling My Niece’s Visit

For years we have planned to have our nieces and nephew stay with us for a week the summer after they turn 12. I’m so excited that the time has finally come for my oldest niece to visit. She’ll be here next week. Some of the activities I’m looking forward to:

  • Seeing Harry Potter and The Simpsons
  • Getting facials or pedicures
  • Meeting Hart with a picnic lunch when he’s working
  • Playing video games
  • Baking a pie
  • Seeing a minor league baseball game
  • Eating at some of our favorite restaurants
  • Going for cupcakes and fancy doughnuts
  • Doing some craft (this week it’s sewing)
  • Visiting Elliot Bay Books
  • Shopping at Buffalo Exchange
  • Going to a “grownups'” restaurant
  • Renting movies
  • Going to a farmers’ market
  • And, and, and. . .

Even I know we can’t cram this all into a week. There was a time that I could have and not been worse off for it. While that’s upsetting, I’m more concerned that there will be a day (or days) that I can’t leave the couch. I don’t want her to be bored, but I’m also the designated grownup.

I’ve made a plan. It may not work, but it has to be better than trying to go full speed. My niece is a late riser, so I’ll be able to keep my normal sleep schedule. I’ll make sure I eat regularly and keep a strict diet. (Although I might test a cupcake this weekend so I’ll know if I can cheat with one next week. :D) The hardest, and perhaps most important, part is to rest for two hours every afternoon.

As Hart pointed out, watching movies, playing video games (of which we have plenty) and eating at restaurants is a 12-year-old’s dream vacation. Instead of fretting that she’ll be bored, I need to remind myself of this regularly. It’s been successful so far. We’ll see if it holds once she arrives.